A Marston Green grandmother who has suffered from depression since the age of 16 is finally beating the condition – after joining a local singing group.
Jenny Wallace, 58, suffers with Seasonal Affective Disorder and up until five years ago the condition caused her to be housebound and hospitalised on several occasions.
But Jenny said her life changed for the better when she was asked to join a local singing group.
“There were times when I just didn’t want to be here,” the grandmother-of-two said.
“There were some really dark and miserable times where I admitted myself into hospital because I felt so ill and I wasn’t eating. This would obviously get worse during the winter months and when the weather was bad.
“I can remember I was having a particularly poor day and I just decided to go for a walk around Touchwood in Solihull.
“I was handed a leaflet about joining a local singing group. I thought to myself that this is actually something I could have a go at. I just remember thinking this lady who handed me the leaflet, without even knowing, could have changed my life.”
Jenny decided to go along to the group in Moseley, run by a team called Unlimited Voices. She has been performing with the choir for the last five years.
“Singing has changed my life. My GP is amazed. I’m now on just one tablet a day, which is a very low dose and I feel fantastic. I was on so many tablets before that half of the time I was walking round in a stupor,” Jenny added.
“Before joining the group, I would never have been able to do half of the things I do now.
“They say singing and laughing lifts your mood and this is exactly what I have been doing since I joined the group. I’m not the greatest singer in the world and it’s not like I want to perform on stage but I’ve met some lovely people and it’s a great social activity.”
Jenny, who now works as a volunteer helping people with mental health problems, started suffering from depression when she was about 16.
“Looking back now, I think my problems started at school when I was bullied. I then started work, which I found extremely stressful. I had problems in my family life and everything just spiralled out of control.
“I would recommend anyone who has suffered like me to give something like this a go. All it takes is for you to take that one brave step and your life could be changed forever. It keeps me strong on a rainy day – I just put on a CD and away I go.”